Chapter 37: Knowing Geography is a Sign of Understanding how the World Works
“What are we doing here you ask …”
Lor heaves a heavy sigh, then suddenly, with an angry glint in his eyes,
“That’s what we’d like to ask you! What’s with the news that you wiped out a gang last night?!”
No, wait, HOW do people know about this already?! And why is Lor angrier than Maryiste-san?!
“Tch, and then without warning, you didn’t show up to Helward’s Forge this morning; stop making everyone so worried!”
Eh? How did Lor know about that? I may have told him I was doing crafting, but did I ever tell him I was helping out at THAT forge?
… Is there anything I do NOT broadcasted to everyone everywhere?
Or wait, I DIDN’T let Jetsom and Ossan know I wasn’t going to show up this morning, did I?
“Mou, Jun-chan, you got to stop being reckless!”
Niera nodded in agreement with Lor, crossing her arms and frowning at me, but as always with Niera, it’s more like she’s pouting than actually being angry.
The three of us look up as a low chuckle sounds from behind. Maryiste and Solyana are standing at the front door.
With an amused look, Maryiste steps to one side and gestures, saying,
“For now, why don’t the 3 of you come inside to talk?”
For a second I was worried a bit about how Niera would feel, eating lunch with all the prostitutes. I mean, she’s been the type to freak out over intimate-type stuff … is what I thought, but I’m rethinking my analysis of her now.
For some time I’ve been hearing, “Kyaa! You mean … that guy … that type of thing?! Waa!” coming from the corner she and some of the girls have been giggling away in. Rather than freak out over it, is she the type that likes gossiping about it? Or like, there’s no question about it, she is DEFINITELY the type that likes lewd rumors.
Later I asked Jarna whether it was ok for them to tell her all that, you know, because of client information confidentiality or something, but Jarna just laughed and said,
“Oh, no problem, no problem. We didn’t tell her the REALLY interesting stuff!”
… No. You know what? I don’t want to know.
ANYWAY, over here, away from that … weird … corner over there, Lor sighs wearily.
“Well, the Guild already found out all about you. That slave-dri-, er, I was sent all over town to dig up information on what you’ve been doing since you’ve registered, see? It’s not like I was just being nosy, it was a job. And anyway, if you hadn’t stood out in such a drastic way like wiping out an entire group of men that the Guild just so happens to be keeping an eye out for, they wouldn’t have wanted to know anything about you.”
“No, how was I supposed to know that the Guild was keeping an eye on them? Well, I’ll apologize for my actions that seem to have caused more problems than I had even begun to realize.”
I don’t intend on ever doing that again, never, so I’m not just saying it to make you feel better.
Lor sighs again, propping his head up with a hand, leaning on the table, as he looked me over carefully. He must have been satisfied with my sincerity, because his irritation level seems to have dropped a notch or two.
“Well, as long as you’re fine, I guess. I’m sorry that you have such a troublesome child in your hands, Maitresse-san.”
Lor said this to Maryiste-san, and she responded,
“Ufufu, to you as well.”
Oi. I can’t deny that I’ve been troublesome, but do you have to say it right in front of me?
“Um… Lor-san, may I ask why you have taken the trouble to come out of your way here today?”
Or like, please get to the point! Why did you come here after investigating all of that stuff about me?
“Ah… right, right. I came on behalf of the Guild. The Guild Master and Vice-Guild Master want to meet you at the Afternoon Watch to discuss your current actions and such.”
“As expected, it’s that, huh?”
Umu… I probably should have expected this, especially when that Ragnall guy was supposed to be doing something for the Guild right there like that. Hm?
“If they want to meet me at the Afternoon Watch, you came kind of early, didn’t you?”
“Ah, you know, in case you didn’t want to go to the Guild … so I would have time to convince you to go.”
“… eh. Not so you could give me a prior warning or something?”
“No, well, it would be within MY best interests if you go.”
Lor makes a strained face.
… It seems Lor has some sort of complicated relationship with the Guild. Anyway,
“Un, well, I don’t think not going is an option, so I’ll come.”
After causing that much of a rampage, either I obediently follow Lor to the Guild or I spend the rest of my time in Nyl City sneaking around. And I just don’t have time for that. Or like, I have way too many other things I want to do other than spend my time in hiding.
“Well, technically you do have the option to refuse, but I’m pretty sure you’ll end up getting dragged over there sooner or later, so you might as well get it over with now.”
“Hey, are they going to slap her with a penalty?”
Solyana cuts in, glaring at Lor. Her glares are still really sharp even if she’s tired and injured.
“Ah… it shouldn’t be that. I’m not sure about the details, but it’s probably something like checking Jun’s character or something like that. Sorry, I’m just the messenger.”
As expected of Lor, even if he’s a little nervous from Solyana’s glare he still gives her a full answer.
Maryiste-san chuckles a little.
“As expected of the ‘Learned Wizard,’ the Guild won’t let you go, hm? Are you still mostly getting requests for acting as a translator nowadays?”
“Recently it’s been more deskwork than traveling, but unfortunately, yes.”
“Eh? But isn’t deskwork better? You have more time to do your medicine stuff than when you were traveling all over the place.”
Heiran, a pretty Featherkin girl, is the one who asked that.
Lor’s pretty famous, huh? Or like, aren’t the people at The Queen Mary’s too well-acquainted with you, Lor? As expected, he’s come here as a customer before. From what it looks like, his type is the pretty girls with cute gestures, like Heiran.
But putting that aside, there’s something else I want to ask about.
“Hey, Lor, you traveled a lot? Then you know about the geography around here, right? Since I don’t really know anything outside of this area, could you tell me what I should know – you know, about what an Adventurer should know.”
“Hm… that’s right, you don’t really know about the surrounding countries, huh? I guess we have time before we have to head back to the Guild, so that’s fine. How basic do you want me to go?”
“From the very basics if you could.”
Yosh, learn about the basics of the world, get! After being in this world for over 2 weeks, I don’t even know how many countries there are, or what countries can be considered the ‘powerhouses’. Even though I’ve interacted (kind of) with Noble-samas from two different countries, I didn’t really know what kind of impression I should be expecting from the countries they represented.
Lor cleared his throat and stood up.
? Stood up?
“*gohon* Ok, well first of all, the world we’re in is called Orelia.”
Uwaaaa, I didn’t even know what the world was called. Am I really going to be ok?
As he continued to talk, Lor pulled out something that was shorter than you would expect a wand to be. The tip lit up, and as he traced it through the air, a drawing was left behind. Ooo, is that a magic too- ah, no good Jun. Focus.
“Ok, so these South-West mountain ranges … here is where Nyl Labyrinth is. The city is around this point here, and the Labyrinth sprawls below aaaall over here below the mountains.
Around the Northern parts of the mountain range, and stretching past them, is the country of Carnus. The population is mostly human but, especially around the South here, closer to Nyl, the percentage of demihumans increases a lot. The country is against discrimination, so they say, but, well … centuries old feelings are hard to erase. Anyway, Carnus tries not to have discrimination in the legislature at least. It’s an older country, and pretty powerful. They used to go around invading territories, but that’s a thing of the past.
Now they’re mostly focused on acquiring new magic technology to improve their infrastructures and the living quality of their citizens, as well as adding to their military power. Because they want to expand their ways of thinking and not their territories, Carnus is one of the easier countries to have dealings with, but well, you still have to watch out just in case you get pulled into their internal political affairs.
To the East, and a little North, of Carnus is Fernett. They’re much smaller, like this, only about 30% of Carnus’s territory, and their land has high elevations and steep slopes, and it isn’t very fertile. That might be why they’re so greedy for more power and land. It’s mostly a country of humans, and most demihumans are slaves. Well, maybe because they’re imitating Carnus, but they claim they don’t discriminate against demihumans. No demihuman has been dumb enough to believe it yet, and it’s definitely a country demihumans try to avoid. To the South, there’s been a long-time feud with the elves about the Southern border, so elves especially get a bad treatment.
South of Fernett is a huge forest. It’s several times the size of Carnus, and there are several countries and territories in it. I don’t go into the forest much, or really any more East than to around here. But here, in the South, is the Ploids Labyrinth. It occupies this entire corner of the forest above ground, as well as extending down underground. The closest country is more of a giant city with surrounding territories; Inouria. As an Adventurer, the Inouri Elves are probably the elves you’ll deal with the most. There are at least 3 other elven countries but, well, elvish territories are always kind of hard to pinpoint, and it seems there’s been some political disputes between them, so you’d have to get more information from locals if you want to go into the forest.
North of Carnus and Fernett is the dwarven territory, Orrwyl, but well, dwarves are a pretty reclusive group so it’s more like each city and town has its own ruler and laws. Ah, this city to the south, Korwal, accepts and scouts for apprentices and disciples of all races for smithing and the like, if you were interested.
The mountain range in Orrwyl extends all through the North, past Fernett, and extends a bit down as Fernett’s Eastern border. On the other side of the mountains from Fernett is Raun Labyrinth. East of that is the most problematic country for us Unaffiliateds. Extus, a country that rivals Carnus in power, is there. Unlike Carnus, though, they’re still ambitiously eyeing other countries’ territories. I’m certain if anything upsets the current balance, they’ll swoop in, starting with the Unaffiliated area around Raun Labyrinth. It’s a country of human supremacists, so in general, Extucians are just a pain to deal with.
To the South of Extus are Gestis and Derfan, two other human countries, and then South of those, and along the Southern border of the forest, is a bunch of Beastkin territories. Ah, and Tren Labyrinth is here a bit South. Any questions?”
Uwaa, as expected of the “Learned Wizard,” he could totally be a teacher. Anyway, that’s a lot for me to have to remember; I’ll probably have to ask him for a review later. But, hm…
“Is there anything beyond the borders? Like, further North or something?”
“To the East and West is a giant ocean. There are theories that the oceans connect around, but no one’s managed it yet. They can’t get past the whirlpools either East or West. Also, no one knows if there are other lands in the oceans. The North … if the weather and the ever-increasing-in-altitude mountains don’t kill you the Frost Grims and Snow Yetis will, so no one really goes too far North.”
So, it’s like climbing Mt Everest, but with yetis. Ok, yeah, I can see why people don’t know if there’s a North Pole, or anything else, up there.
“As for the South, that’s where demons are, so at least while you’re a new Adventurer you shouldn’t go down there-“ *Gong gong gong* “- ah, the Afternoon Watch, we should get going…”
Eh? Wait, demons? Wait, Lor-san?!
“Aw… already? See you Jarna, Heiran! I’ll bring some guys to come along and play next time!”
Eh? When did Niera get so close to the girls?
“A-ah, then, I’ll be back.”
I say that while I scramble to stand, and quickly follow Lor and Niera out the door.
“Take care to come back safely and not take any reckless detours, Jun,” is what Solyana tossed out after me.
Yes, I get it, I’m a problem child. I’m sorry.
Because Lor thought we’d have enough time, we dropped by the forge so I could let Ossan and Jetsom know I had some other business to take care of. If there’s one thing I’ve learned today, it’s that I shouldn’t let people worry too much.
It’s a pity I can’t stay around the forge longer. Ossan REALLY wants to start helping me make the hilt for my katana. He’s curious about how the grip is fastened to the blade, and what all the metal add-ons I had described to him actually look like. I want to get started on it too! But, I really shouldn’t .. Ah, but…
Anyway, it was a good thing Lor and Niera were there to drag me away.
And now, on the way to the Guild Hall, we were discussing what was bothering me.
“You didn’t have demons in your country either? That’s a blessing.”
Lor, it’s not just demons. Demi-humans and magic too.
“Hm, it’s a good thing you asked, then. Demons don’t really look all that different from humans and demi-humans so you need to be careful. The thing is, demonkin are the only types of living creatures that can absorb mana and magic power.”
Uh … huh? So?
“But they can’t make their own mana.”
Ok, so demons are people who can absorb mana, can’t make their own mana, but need mana to live? So that means…
“So basically, demons are people who prey on the living. They aren’t undead, but they have to take mana from living people and creatures in order to stay living. Well, there are all sorts of demons too, and some types take in mana different from others, but in general, you should try to avoid them. The demons who live right near the borders between demon and non-demon territories sometimes do business with us, but I think you get why we generally try to avoid them.”
“Do they … kill people by taking mana?”
“Some demons drain people dry, yes, and others have to physically eat their victims’ blood or flesh. But there are also some demons who don’t need to do that.”
That means …
“So like, vampires?”
“Oh, so you do know about them. Yeah, vampires are one of the races of demons. Anyway, just be careful. You could get targeted if you wander around near demon territory, since you have very pure magic power.”
Hai, I don’t know what that means, but I understand it must mean I look tasty to demons. I will ask Lor about what he means by “pure” magic power later, when I ask about fire magic.
But right now, we’ve arrived at the Guild Hall.
A/N: For the record, it’s ok if you skipped most of Lor’s monologue. I 100% guarantee Jun won’t remember, since she probably zoned out halfway through, and will have to be reminded of things as they happen. It was supposed to be as dull to read as possible to make it feel like Jun was getting a class lecture. That being said, I am properly reflecting on the critiques regarding the text wall and will take it into account for the future … and not do that again.